I’m going to try a new thing here – an end-of-the-week bullet point recap of all the things occupying my time and brain. Like every other blogger in the entire world, I’m calling this Five Things Friday.
It’s where, once a week or as I remember, I just throw out things I love, things I use, things I’m thinking about, things I’m reading, things that have me concerned, or things that have me stabby. You get the idea. I’d love to know what you think.
1. What I’ve Been Reading
More like re-reading – The Art of Fermentation. I feel like I’m ready to branch out in my fermentation and tackle more unique concoctions. No better inspiration than Sandor Katz, though I’ll admit I find Art of Fermentation a touch dry compared to Wild Fermentation.
2. What I’ve Loved Eating
These tacos. Steak, fermented curtido slaw, avocado – this meal made me so happy I had it for lunch, then promptly made it again for dinner!
3. What Tool’s Made My Life Better
The Ringer Chain Mail Scrubber. This is seriously the best tool for cleaning cast iron. I’ve had mine for a year now and would be lost without it.
4. What I’ve Been Struggling With
I’m really concerned about the situation in Syria right now. You guys probably don’t know this, but I got my undergraduate degree in International Relations with a National Security focus. I used to pay a lot of attention to the machinations of great powers.
The humanitarian situation in Syria is horrible, and the geopolitical situation looks like a tinderbox from where I stand.
5. What Quote I’ve Been Holding In My Head
In light of the above, I’m trying to settle my focus back on what I can do, what I can control – what action I can take to become a bit more productive, a bit more resilient, a bit more thoughtful in how I live my own life.
Bonus: What You’ve Been Sharing and Liking This Week
Most popular Facebook post this week: a re-post of this image I made 2 years ago. It feels as appropriate now as it did then. You can follow me on Facebook here.
Most popular Instagram post this week: my checkerboard garden lettuces! You can follow me on Instagram here.
Most popular Pin this week: this Mason Jar Stir Fry Sauce, which is so versatile I always have a jar in the fridge. You can follow me on Pinterest here.
This week, I’ve been trying to readjust after a lovely nature-filled girls’ weekend in Maine. Coming home to noise, traffic, and a metropolis full of perpetually angry and rude people was a big downer…even with the weather turning and my favorite season on the horizon. I’ll just have to stare therapeutically at some apples or squash tomorrow at the farmer’s market to bring my blood pressure down.
Love the two quotes!
Thanks! You go with your therapeutic fall crops. 😀
I’m so glad you are talking about Syria. It kind of feels like we’re on the brink of something that really could become something globally catastrophic, muchless the regional CF it already is. Also…Russia, I just don’t trust you.
Thanks. Yeah, I don’t feel like this is the right venue to start going all geo-politic, but MENA and Syria in particula has really been occupying my thoughts lately. I am crossing my fingers that everyone rattling sabers (West and Russia) is smart enough to just rattle. Otherwise, the current situation in and around Syria could escalate very quickly.
Kat Starnes says
I think what causes my husband and me to struggle most is the realization that there are just so many things happening in the world today that seem like they could go very bad very quickly. We are having to exercise mental discipline to do exactly what you said–“to settle my focus back on what I can do, what I can control – what action I can take to become a bit more productive, a bit more resilient, a bit more thoughtful in how I live my own life.” I don’t think it helps to bury our heads in the sand, because a surprise catastrophe is certainly not going to be less painful than one you see coming, but we are trying not to let our awareness of potential danger consume us, or paralyze us, or prevent us from making the most of now (whatever the future holds.) Our faith is a big motivator in that direction. We do believe that God will make things right in the end. It may get pretty hairy in the meantime, though, and no sane person wants to live in the “interesting times” of the apocryphal Chinese curse. I suspect few people who are paying attention aren’t at least somewhat concerned about potential sparks in the tinderbox.
i LOVE five things friday! what i’m thinking about? that we are goign to get a frost or freeze tonite and so my beloved summer is going to end. i’m very stabby about it.
I LOVE this new series. I so look forward to the Friday links on the few blogs that I follow, so am thrilled about this move, especially because I know they will be varied and thought-provoking. (Ditto Syria.)
Love your new Friday posts and look forward to more.
I’ve also been rereading The Art of Fermentation. When I first read it, I found it fascinating but too much information for practical use. I stuck with the simpler Wild Fermentation and Fermented. Three years later, all the information is so much more accessible.
They say learning a third language is when you really start to understand the first two languages and I have found that true for fermentation. I started with lactofermentation, then added country wines over the summer, and have recently been trying to get a komucha scoby going. I got an OK one going, but I think I am going to just buy a fresh one. What that made me understand, though, is how each type of fermentation is actually quite different. It amazes me that we are able to control each of them as easily as we do.
I finally got around to LF salsa this year. I had it where I thought “perfect, I’ll just let it go until morning”…and then it got really strong in the next 12 hours. I think it is pretty awesome, but I am looking forward to next year when I can cut it off at that “this is perfect” stage and have it a little more guest-friendly. But, this is how we learn!
Nancy Sutton says
Five Friday is the frosting on an already rich cake!! Plus, I hope you feel better if you (occasionally) have don’t have time for a full essay … family first :). (I’m secretly hoping for a ‘full’ walk through on your charcuterie adventures last year… I can wait 😉
‘Being Here Now’ is the only way to really live, but that doesn’t mean one can’t take action – yesterday I spent an hour on the streetcorner in Tacoma waiving my sign (won’t say for whom… that would be to partisan, right?), smiling at honkers, with 10 others… that’s where I find my few peeps, considering that the second quote is me 😉
Maybe there should be a store “Books & Plants Is Us” (hmmmm… could also have space for classes, discussions, volunteers, etc., etc. ) OK … mental popcorn… could use a library conference room, and members could bring boxes of books and plants to give/trade…. hmmm. But, I guess that would be me and one other person 🙂
Nancy Sutton says
OK shouldn’t add another, but this may be the only time/place to share my motivation for active citizenry. If , on checking out, there is a Life Review with Someone Upstairs, I’m imaging the question, when we get to this point, “Did you know what was going on?”, and I’ll have to say, “Yes’, and then in the pregnant pause that follows, I want to be able to add, “I did make an effort.” So, for me, it’s head-in-sand, or getting off the couch.
I love your new Friday series! Over here: started a new tiny job that involves big-for-me technology advances. Got to make a new friend of an internet acquaintance who might be sending her daughter to Gonzaga—it is so cool meeting screen presences in real life! Faced the hard reality of saying goodbye to my productive little garden for the year. Racked my first ever batch of apple country wine, thank you for inspiring me! Its been 30 years, but hubs and I got a new car again this week. Hope your week will be great Erica.
How does the chainmail scrubber work? I adore my cast iron, cook with it every day and I’ve seen people talk about these.. don’t little bits of food get stuck and wet and gross in the little links? And then I have to touch it? Or is this strictly for burnt on crusties?
So, which book for fermenting would you recommend for someone starting out?
Nicole S. says
I would personally recommend Sandor Katz firs fermentation book, Wild Fermentation. The kimchi recipe is SO good. And his style of writing and the recipes are great for a beginner.